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So That’s What That’s Called!

Huh. I learned a new word today! “Id-fic.” Something that is satisfying on a deep and primitive level despite the fact that you A) recognize it is horrible or B) recognize that it is dreadfully ridiculous or C) are deeply ashamed that you enjoy it or D) all of the above.

Does not necessarily denote fan-fic, although I will suspect that fan-fic contains this in its purest and most concentrated form. (Anne Bishop comes immediately to mind on the published side, and we could make a big case for Jacqueline Carey. Hell, probably Twilight, too, now that I think of it.) Opinion is divided on whether it has to be bad, although I would imagine that one could write something very good and which was similarly satisfying for a segment of the population, and probably people do every day.

Jane Eyre and a number of other Gothic-style novels were referenced on one post, with the point that “Nice girl is repeatedly crapped on by life, triumphs over adversity, and Totally Wins In The End,” is pure id-fic for some. I’ll give ‘em that one. Cindarella is an archetype for a reason, and I like this plot as much as anybody, preferably with a side-order of stomping Someone Who Was Mean To Me And Also Prettier But Definitely Mean into the ground, and ideally some My Ex Is Now Filled With Burning Regret And Also Syphilis*, which is why my iPad contains a great deal of Mercedes Lackey and ilk, held in reserve for certain times of month.

(Good? Of course it’s not good! What does “good” have to do with it? I read for pleasure, not so that I can whip out my reading list at parties. If I want self-improvement, I will take a yoga class.)

Anyway, this is a useful mental hook to hang things on, even as I step back from the Dark And Terrifying And Why Is Everything In Here Slightly Damp Places Of The Internet that seem to be attached to it.

 

*For proper wish-fulfillment, this should be contracted AFTER the relationship. Otherwise your id may need a round of meds.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

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I'll have to remember that phrase. For me, it definitely applies to Frank Miller's Sin City and 300 (both the comics and the movies made from them). From a purely artistic/visual/technical standpoint they are amazing works - if only the plot/content wasn't quite so violent/sexist/racist/jingoist/ultra-macho. It's kinda like watching Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will.

The Lymond Chronicles are a great example.

Yay! Somebody else has read them.

This is why I love fandom. You're never the only one who likes something, no matter how ridiculous.

Wow, this totally explains why I read a bijillion books and am very happy with them but can't for the life of me actually recommend them to anyone.

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I have moments where I imagine a herd of pet mastodons trampling his car. Strangely (and sadly) enough, that isn't as common a trope.

And yet, it should be. I, for one, vow to someday write this, at least once, though I'm not sure in which universe. Possibly the one where death's avatar is a drag queen.

Yes! Yes! This is it. This is what I've been trying to say for a decade. This is why anyone who dislikes the Star Wars prequels for any other reason than, "I didn't have fun," is wrong.


.......Well I'll be damned.

My dislike has been deemed valid by the internet.

I need a commemorative plaque or something.

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Trek reboot had me by the id with Spock/Uhura

Yessssssss! (Uhura is not Spock's trophy girl. Spock is Uhura's trophy Vulcan. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. )

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Everything in this post is full of WIN.

That may be my problem with Name of the Wind - it's id-fic, but decidedly NOT my id.

Yes. Absolutely. I'm having the same problem with the Dresden Files- I haven't rolled my eyes at a book this hard since the last time I read an Ayn Rand book.

It's even better when you write the fic yourself. I once wrote one from the viewpoint of a certain undead thief in an anime genre which might allegedly involve cards and dueling and other such things (omg the shame, it buuurns), and taking the brakes off and being unabashedly sarcastic, bloody-minded and homicidal was AMAZINGLY satisfying. And fun. And somewhat disturbing. But cathartic! **halo**

... This is why I occasionally write stuff for Gin. And then bury it in a deep, DEEP pit, because people already think I'm slightly cracked. But he's FASCINATING, and I'm not right in the head.

"If I want self-improvement, I will take a yoga class."

That's pretty much the definition of what I occupied my Kindle with (which is contain 95% of gay romance novels, werewolves are hot!, 5% are paranormal romance and one 1,001 Arabian Nights (still haven't finished reading it since I take up the gay romance novel :P)).

I read the most horribly terribly godawful paranormal romance titled:
"Eat,
Prey,
Love"

(Also paranormal romance ftw.)

I refuse to be ashamed about things I like, but there are things I don't tell many people I like.

And now I know what to call The Super Mario Bros Movie and Virtuosity and the Rocky and Bullwinkle Movie.

OMG, I love Virtuosity. Though I'm not sure if that's because it grabbed me by the id, or just because I will take any and all opportunities to drool over Denzel Washington...

Are you familiar with OH JOHN RINGO NO?

Because that seems like the purest example to me. Although I should note that it's the writer's id in question, not the reader's.

Just ran across it today, actually!

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I've heard of it as "id-surfing," I think the term was. In conjunction with alternate-universe M.A.S.H. slash. Well-done MASH-slash, too. With broken psyches.

Around then was when I decided to just embrace the themes that I like and run with them and play with them the way I wanna play with them and just keep enough of a rein that they don't stampede the horses. It's very freeing!

"Surfing the id-vortex," is the phrase I'm vaguely recalling. And yes, fanfic is uniquely suited to A) feeling free to do just exactly that and B) being able to find the audience that wants to read just exactly that.

My theatre's last show was the premier showing of a new play called "Find & Sign" and one of the characters is a high school english teacher.

She ridicules her friend for reading bodice rippers, who argues that she enjoyed reading "historical fiction" and that's why she could never get past two pages of her father's books. (he writes fancy stuffy nonfiction one presumes. He's described as a literary lion later in the show)

The teacher then tells her friend, "you're not supposed to enjoy them."

I want to know what kind of playwright thinks it's remotely feasible to write an english teacher* who thinks you shouldn't read for the pure sake of enjoyment.



* NOT JUST ANY ENGLISH TEACHER. She's a public high school english teacher in the Bronx. This woman would be dying to beg, bribe, and coerce her students to read anything.

Edited at 2012-02-16 04:55 am (UTC)

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